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Toyota's hydrogen car covers new ground

Toyota's modified SUV can travel 880km on a single tank of hydrogen.

Speaking of fuel cells, we've had word from Toyota Japan that things are also looking up on the transport front, with a major breakthrough for one of its hydrogen-powered research cars there.

The company announced over the weekend that a new version of its fuel-cell-driven Highlander SUV made a 560km journey from Japan's second city, Osaka, to Tokyo without needing to be refuelled.

Longer-lasting drive

After refitting an earlier model, Toyota found that the new Highlander could actually manage almost 900km on a single tank of hydrogen. Fuel efficiency was increased by a quarter, while the tank's capacity doubled and the power-control system was also upgraded to perform better.

Boy racers worried about having to tolerate no-frills clunkers worthy of pre-1989 Eastern Europe will be reassured to hear that the Highlander kept its air conditioning on throughout the journey and averaged 80km/h. Perhaps we can save the planet after all, then, eh?